Did You Know Relief from Chronic Pain Is Possible with Physical Therapy?
Has chronic, achy pain in your hips or knees recently changed your life? Has it become increasingly difficult for you to fulfill the physical demands of your daily routine? If so, you’re not alone.
Millions of Americans experience disruptive pain in their knees or hips each day. In fact, in a 2006 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30% of responders reported experiencing knee and hip pain.
If you are currently struggling to manage your hip or knee pain, you stand to benefit from physical therapy. At Synergy Manual Physical Thearpy, our skilled team of therapists can offer you customizable and evidence-based therapy plans to lessen your pain and get you back on your feet with confidence. Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today to learn more.
What can you expect out of physical therapy?
1. A diagnosis after your first appointment
When you visit a physical therapist for the first time, you will likely be asked to perform a series of movement patterns, stretches, or physical assessments. This will help your therapist examine your current range of motion, strength, balance, joint alignment, and reflexes.
Your therapist may also ask you to share relevant medical history or collaborate with other medical professionals involved in your care.
This is all done to clarify your diagnosis and identify the root cause of your pain. Going through this process with a physical therapist can also help you complete the necessary documentation for workers’ compensation and provide you with a general timeframe for your recovery.
2. Learn the root cause of your pain
Your physical therapist will spend a significant amount of time making sure that you understand the condition that is causing you pain. When you have a grasp on why your hip or knee hurts, and understand the recovery process, you’re more likely to stick to your treatment plan and avoid any harmful activities that could cause re-injury.
Patient and caregiver education is especially important when a patient is approaching a long or delicate recovery process, like in joint replacement surgery.
In this case, it would be critical that a patient and their loved ones understood what activity restrictions were placed on them during this time, so their rehabilitation can be as successful as possible. Visiting a physical therapist following a hip or knee replacement can also improve surgical outcomes and reduce pain.
3. Retrain your posture to ease joint strain
The state of your posture influences the amount of pressure that is transmitted through your hips and knees.
A physical therapist may ask questions about your workspace, exercise routine, or sleeping position to learn about your posture. They may also ask you to walk or perform movement patterns so they can identify firsthand any postural imbalances in need of correction.
Your posture has a huge impact on your joints, and once it is improved or corrected, you should begin to notice less pain in your hips and knees.
4. Improve painful symptoms with exercise therapy
It goes without saying that regular exercise has numerous health benefits. But did you know that exercise can help relieve the painful symptoms of conditions like osteoarthritis, ligament sprains, and muscle strains?
A physical therapist can prescribe exercises that target the source of your pain while improving your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Your therapist will create your exercise program based on your condition and where you are in the recovery process. Your exercises may be modified or progressed with time.
5. Relieve your pain naturally and safely
If you’re searching for a way to treat chronic pain without the use of invasive surgeries or potentially addictive prescription drugs, physical therapy is an excellent option. Both clinical trials and individual case reports show that the following treatments can effectively relieve pain and improve function in people experiencing hip and knee pain:
- Manual therapy (e.g., soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization)
- Athletic taping (also called kinesiotaping)
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Electrical stimulation
Your physical therapist may use these pain-relieving modalities in addition to exercise therapy in your treatment plan. Like exercise therapy, these modalities are non-invasive, do not involve drugs or medication, and offer a safe, natural solution to pain.
6. Gain access to adaptive equipment or devices
You may benefit from the temporary or permanent use of adaptive equipment or devices to help you manage your knee or hip pain. A physical therapist can teach you how to use these devices effectively and select the best device for your specific needs.
Common devices that benefit our hip and knee pain patients include:
- Custom or prefabricated orthotics and braces
- Walkers, crutches, or canes
- Grab bars, raised toilet seats, shower chairs, bed canes
These devices make it easier to function within your environment and decrease your risk of injury or fall.
7. Learn how to prevent future re-injury
Injury prevention is a key part of long-term recovery from chronic hip and knee pain. If you have put a lot of time and effort into your recovery, the last thing you’d want would be to redevelop an old injury and have to deal with all the painful symptoms for a second time.
Injury prevention techniques are especially important with issues like hip and knee pain since dysfunction in these joints can increase the risk of balance problems and falls, especially among older adults.
Examples of injury prevention strategies you may receive in physical therapy include:
- Teaching you how to minimize joint strain while transferring or moving positions. You may focus on moving up and down the stairs, getting in and out of bed, or sitting up from a chair.
- Making recommendations for environmental and ergonomic modifications in the home and work environment
Begin your recovery from hip and knee pain today!
Chronic pain in your hips and knees doesn’t have to be a part of your life. Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists.